Google AdWords Begins Enforcing Porn Ads Rules

adwords-movies-featuredCNBC reports that Google is now banning porn businesses from utilizing their ad network.

The truth is, the policy of not allowing adult ads in the Google ad network was announced in March. You can read about it on Google’s help pages over here:

The AdWords policies on adult sexual services, family status, and underage or non-consensual sex acts will be updated in late June 2014 to reflect a new policy on sexually explicit content. Under this policy, sexually explicit content will be prohibited, and guidelines will be clarified regarding promotion of other adult content. The change will affect all countries. We made this decision as an effort to continually improve users’ experiences with AdWords. After the new policy goes into effect, the adult sexual services, family status, and underage or non-consensual sex acts policy pages will reflect this change.

Google said they would begin enforcing this new policy change in late June, which is now.

VentureBeat covered in June about notifications being sent to advertisers that this may impact, telling them, that the ads will be shut down in the upcoming weeks. Here is a copy of one of those notifications:

Dear AdWords Advertiser,

We’re writing to remind you about a change to Google’s advertising policies we announced in our Policy Change Log that may affect your AdWords account: https://support.google.com/adwordspolicy/answer/4271759

Beginning in the coming weeks, we’ll no longer accept ads that promote graphic depictions of sexual acts including, but not limited to, hardcore pornography; graphic sexual acts including sex acts such as masturbation; genital, anal, and oral sexual activity.

When we make this change, Google will disapprove all ads and sites that are identified as being in violation of our revised policy. Our system identified your account as potentially affected by this policy change. We ask that you make any necessary changes to your ads and sites to comply so that your campaigns can continue to run.

Sincerely,

The Google AdWords Team

It appears that now, Google is enforcing the rule and these ads are going offline. There is a lot of coverage of the policy enforcement on Techmeme. The CNBC story has one adult network owner saying he was surprised. I don’t see how that is possible, Google announced it in March, sent notices to advertisers again in early June. But he was surprised?

“I was caught by surprise,” says Theo Sapoutzis, chairman and CEO of AVN Media Network. “I was one of the very first advertisers for AdWords back in 2002. It’s something that’s been [untouched] for 12 years, so you don’t expect change is going to start happening.”

In any event, Google is now enforcing their no porn ads policy.

Related Topics: Channel: Search Marketing | Google: AdWords | Top News

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About The Author: is Search Engine Land's News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry's personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio over here.

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